South Yorkshire Police ‘requires improvement’ in how legitimate the force is at keeping people safe and reducing crime, a government watchdog says.
Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary, who gave the force a ‘good’ last year, said that it needs to improve how it seeks feedback from people it serves about how the police treated them.
The watchdog also says that South Yorkshire Police needs to act efficiently to ensure that its workforce behaves ethically and lawfully and needs to improve how it communicates.
Mike Cunningham, HM Inspector of Constabulary, said that the rating decline was “disappointing.”
“Although treating people fairly is a stated priority for the force, recent changes in the way it operates are preventing it from both effective involvement with local communities,” he said.
HMIC considers a police force ‘legitimate’ if it has the consent of the public and those working in the force behave in an ethical, fair and lawful way.
Deputy Chief Constable, Dawn Copley, of South Yorkshire Police said: “We acknowledge the latest HMIC report and recognise the force’s grading as requires improvement. We will look to progress the recommendations contained within the report as quickly as possible.
“The Inspectors have identified similar issues as the College of Policing’s Peer Review, conducted in the force earlier this year.
“It is pleasing to see that HMIC grades the force as food at ensuring our workforce behaves ethically and lawfully. This is a solid foundation we will build upon in the future.”
It also says that low morale is a problem throughout the force.
The report said that the force needs to treat its workforce with greater fairness and respect, judging this another area that requires improvement.
Report findings no surprise
South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Dr Alan Billings, said that the reports findings didn’t come as a surprise.
“Interim Chief Constable Dave Jones and I commissioned a peer review of the force conducted by the College of Policing which laid out very clearly where the strengths and weaknesses of South Yorkshire Police were,” he said.
“Overall, I see this report as the inspectorate catching up with and confirming what the peer review had laid bare and what the force has been working to address since that time.
“The Chief Constable has committed to take South Yorkshire Police from a force that requires improvement to one that is good and indeed excellent and I will support him in that in every way I can.”